This underdog could win the World Series
A year ago, it would seem unthinkable that the Miami Marlins could win the World Series, but it’s far from impossible heading into the 2020 postseason.
The Marlins have a quartet of young pitchers who have emerged as quality starters, giving them a chance to win every postseason game they play.
Miami’s bullpen has been one of the most overlooked in baseball this year, anchored by veteran closer Brandon Kinzler.
Offensively, the Marlins leave something to be desired, but a lot of team speed and plenty of professional hitters will give them a chance to manufacture runs in the playoffs.
Starting pitching is a prerequisite for any postseason run, and believe it or not, the Marlins check that box. The quartet of Pablo Lopez, Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, and Daniel Castano is as deep and balanced as any rotation in the National League. While young and inexperienced in big games, all four have produced an ERA under 4.00 this season. Sanchez and Alcantara, in particular, have elite stuff and are capable of dominating an opposing lineup on any given day. With no off-days during each series, rotation depth will be critical during the playoffs. Right now, the Marlins have at least four starters they can trust. Although the MLB public betting isn’t backing the Marlins heavily right now their starting pitching could change that if they are able to get past the Cubs.
On the season, Miami’s bullpen has posted underwhelming numbers. However, late in the season, the Marlins have managed to put together a suitable bullpen. Brandon Kintzler has been a reliable closer all season. Ahead of him, there is a slew of veterans, including Brad Boxberger, Yimi Garcia, Richard Bleier, and James Hoyt. To be fair, there isn’t a ton of playoff experience in that group. But veteran relievers who can handle late-game pressure combined with a young and talented rotation is a nice combination for the postseason.
You Never Know
Of course, the Marlins will need to score a few runs in the playoffs. Miami barely ranks among the top-10 in the National League in runs scored, so the Marlins have been offensively challenged at times. However, the Marlins are second in the NL in stolen bases, exhibiting a lot of team speed. Miami’s lineup is also filled with plenty of veteran, professional hitters like Miguel Rojas, Jesus Aguilar, Brian Anderson, and Corey Dickerson. The guys who make MLB picks for a living aren’t exactly backing this young Marlins team, but if they can get a few runs across early, anything could happen. They don’t necessarily need to get a lot of hits; they just need to get them at the right time. That’s why at +3300 (according to DraftKings), the Marlins could shock the world and win the World Series.
Story by Bryan Zarpentine